Spud Thornhill: It's no fun being a Norwich City fan
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
The visit of Everton this weekend is a game I’ve been looking forward to since fixtures were released back in June.
Not because of any strong feelings for the Toffees - I must confess I still have that bit in me that has never forgiven Everton for their part (or I should I say the lack of it?) in 1985, when they lost to Coventry City and relegated us, leaving me, 10 years old, uncontrollably upset over my first relegation as a Norwich fan.
No, it’s a chance to meet up with a very passionate Everton fan who is, like myself, a groundhopper. Debbie is her name. Not only do we have a passion for our beloved football clubs, but we enjoy ticking off grounds we've been to, watching random games like Salford v Cambridge as we both did two years ago.
That was a week after we had lost 5-1 at home to Aston Villa and I felt even that early in the season we were not good enough or able to commit for the Premier League.
There is not much I remember from the game, which Salford won 1-0, but what I do remember is something Debbie said which has stuck with me since: "I’m jealous of you being a Norwich City fan - whilst we (Everton) are a bigger club, you definitely have more fun and enjoyment watching Norwich."
She added: "‘We don’t go down, we just stay in the middle never competing for the title or even Champions League spot. At least if you go down you’re going to have some great fun in trying to get back to the Premier League by winning a lot more games, and actually winning a trophy."
At first, I found the comments very perplexing: I thought I should be the envious one.
- 1 Former Norwich restaurant to be transformed into £1.5m food hall
- 2 Man refusing to pay rent for council flat over 16-year mould problem
- 3 Family living in city's 'worst' council house despair over new damp
- 4 Parking charges at city parks has raised £0
- 5 Norwich City star and fan groups back call for drums at Carrow Road
- 6 Norwich's tiniest pub completes facelift
- 7 Extra security measures approved for flats plagued by drug use
- 8 Mum has foot run over in incident with foul-mouthed driver
- 9 Bottomless brunch with 90s act, fried chicken and cocktails heading to city
- 10 Five street food vendors doing residencies in Norwich pubs
Recently I saw that Everton’s net spending in the last five years was an estimated £260m. Only four clubs in the Premier League have had a bigger net spend. The owner, Farhad Moshiri, is supposedly worth nearly £2bn. Everton can get out a cheque book without fear of damaging the club, unlike us.
Since the Football League was formed 134 years ago, they have spent three - yes, three - years out of the top flight. And that was way back in the 1950s. They are a permanent fixture in the top division who are highly unlikely to experience relegation. They really are a side who make the numbers up in the Premier League.
To make it worse, bitter rivals Liverpool are the media darlings and have a lot more success than Everton.
Everton have an amazingly large fan base who, in my opinion, don’t get the recognition for their loyalty and patience. In my opinion they are one of best sets of supporters in the Premier League.
So with what they have spent in the last five years, have they progressed?
I think we can agree they haven’t. A lot of fans want manager Rafa Benitez out and it appears there is as much unrest at Goodison Park as there is among the Carrow Road faithful.
Speaking to many Norwich fans of late, a lot of them have said they are fed up being a so-called yo-yo club. They want to be an established Premier League club. I would like that too, but it’s just getting tougher and tougher without that elusive rich owner.
Southampton were recently taken over - their Serbian owner, Dragan Solak, is reportedly worth over £1bn. This is what we are up against - without a billionaire we just cannot compete.
I am sure the board would be interested in someone who had the club at their heart to take us to the next level, but unless there is a someone out there with a billion pounds instead of millions, we are always going to lack any chance to compete .
Of course, we suffered another defeat on Wednesday, at West Ham - we're just not looking good enough, again. West Ham, like so many teams this season, didn’t need to go into second gear to get a result.
Hopefully against Everton we can put a performance in and actually get a result to truly frustrate Debbie, but even I’m thinking they won’t need much to get past us.
At the moment I’m definitely not having more fun. This Premier League is far too painful.